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Kanjidamage.com July 17, 2012

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brilliant words, Japan, Uncategorizable.

If I ever had the mistaken idea that Japanese could be learned by an average American middle-aged man (like myself, for wretched example), I can happily dismiss it with a visit to kanjidamage.com.  This site offers terrific insight to the surrealistic nightmare that is the standard approach to learning kanji.  I’m not here to complain about learning kanji (this is a happy blog, dammit), but to raise a (dozen) glass(es) to the author, who has seen through the veil of lies about teaching kanji told by idiots who try.

Kanji education is a mess.  Let’s not kid ourselves; if I had to learn everything else the same way this is taught I would be (more of) an idiot (than I am).  Because there are sooooooooo many exceptions, exclusions, inclusions, synonyms, repetitions, multiple meanings, lookalikes and other monsters under the bed of kanji lessons–and this is over and above the general weirdness that is the Japanese language itself.

Kanjidamage.com does not attempt to comfort you about this recurring nightmare; it merely points out the scarier bits, leaves out the stupider things and makes fun of the rest in rather coarse language and cheap “yo’ mama” jokes.  Somehow, I am oddly comforted by this, although I admit I never, ever intended to learn kanji in the first place, having been forewarned by a dear friend who almost went mad trying.  And a stepdaughter.  In fact, the intellectual landscape is littered with the corpses of fools who tried.

If you or someone you love MUST learn kanji, have them start here.  If no gun is to your head, stay away from kanji.  It’s just not worth it.


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